#3 How to Trick Resistance

“Well, you’re off to a bad start!”

I have been building a new habit of writing each evening. I set aside about 30 minutes to
simply write about creativity, the value of practicing an art form, or
sometimes, what I am learning from the practice.
Well, I just missed three evenings!

Each time I had a really good reason not to write.

I recently read James Clear’s book, Atomic Habits. I appreciate his ideas about
starting new habits and stopping old ones that no longer serve us.

In one chapter he discusses how when we miss or skip a day as we are building a new habit, we
have simply missed a day. Not a big deal.

He then goes on: when we miss two or three times, we are starting another habit, and not the
one we originally intended, perhaps even it’s opposite.

I’m puzzled because I enjoy these times I sit down and write. I feel enriched. I have fun! So why don’t
I eagerly sit down each evening and write away?

Or perhaps, you might be asking why don’t I practice my instrument? Or why don’t I take
that evening walk?

We are experiencing Resistance. A human condition!

Resistance is a chameleon, fashioning itself on our state of mind, emotional or physical state.
It can convince us that we are too tired, too stressed, too bored…

If I have worked hard all day, I might have the thought: “You deserve to relax!” “You had
such a stressful day, just cool it.” Or, “How are you going to go for a walk
now, it is so cold out.”

Resistance knows our weak points, our Achille heels and goes right for them. It knows us
so well because resistance is from our own minds. These thoughts are our own.
Perhaps, you have someone in your life who supports these thoughts, believing they
are helping you. Doesn’t this make it harder!

You may have heard that neurologists have learned that our brains are wired to stop us from
taking risks, this includes trying something new like building a new habit.

Resistance, in whatever forms it takes with you, is your mind trying to protect you.

Resistance is fear based.

Once we understand this fact, resistance loses its power over us. We have more of a
choice when we recognize these are simply thoughts which trigger our physical
or emotional reactions. We always have the ability to choose our reactions once
we are aware of them.

When you are having a nightmare, there is a way to disarm the monster chasing you. You stop running, turn and face it and ask: “What do you want? Who are you?” The monster will respond.

Likewise, we can face off resistance, rather than looking the other way to Instagram or

The trick is this.

Let’s say you have a plan to engage in your creative practice or do your new workout regime.
You set aside the time. But then, you find yourself coming up with all sorts of
excuses not to follow through.

First, acknowledge this is your resistance. You may have to do some detective work to
recognize the form your resistance is taking this time.

Then, Trick your resistance!

Tell yourself you will only practice, exercise, write for 15 to 20 minutes. Then if you are
too tired, stressed etc., to continue, you will stop.

Resistance grumbles: “Well, ok, but only 15 minutes. No more!”

You begin. And before you know it, 30, 40, even 60 minutes have gone by.

And, surprisingly, resistance has slipped away. Until the next time!

I practice this “trick” often. I am amazed at the constantly changing forms my resistance
takes. I have to say, it is creative! And this trick works for me whenever
I recognize my resistance. I am still learning to do so.

I hope the trick works for you!

I would enjoy hearing what forms your resistance is taking with you and if the trick worked for you.

Email me at: art@rhaeamaurel.com.
We can start a conversation!